The Real Italy


I never get bored with Italy. Been visiting since I was a teenager. It’s beauty and history are captivating. The food, the wine, all the usual things make me love the country. However, until I visited Abruzzo, I realized I hadn’t seen the real Italy. It took only a short visit to remind me that local Italians make Italy what it is, and the folks of Abruzzo are the warmest, most helpful people I have ever met. While writing this blog my eyes fill with tears as I recall our recent visit and all we achieved with their help. We made more friends in two weeks than I’ve made in the last 20 years.

Colledimezzo is a tiny village in Abruzzo, less than 600 inhabitants. Of course everyone became familiar with us immediately. A mixed race couple with British accents. We stuck out like a sore thumb. Those locals immediately accepted us, helped us and made us feel like one of them.

It’ll be a few years before we can retire there, but the ground work is done. We have a second home there now, and lots of vacations to look forward to. Good things are worth waiting for!



Yes, lethargy. Whats wrong with the world this week? Everyone is half asleep, unhappy or simply indifferent. I’m terrified it rubs off on me. Cheer up folks…..let go of the lethargy!


Dead of July

Dead of July_Cover_in-template

Random People


Siesta time at Via Condotti

Minolta DSC

Exhausted after a day on the beach in Nuevo Vallarta

Some vacation memories are not of the scenery and history, but of the people we see along the way.

New Orleans

Not many places in the US captured my heart like New Orleans. I thought San Francisco was my favorite US City,  until 2005, when we took a road trip from Denver to New Orleans. We stopped off in Columbus Missouri, just to sleep.

We spend a wonderful amusing night in Memphis. I didn’t have nearly enough time explore Memphis, but I will go back again one day.

Two weeks after we visited New Orleans, Katrina hit.

When I watched the news and saw what was happening I cried. I wasn’t just crying for the city, I was crying for the people I met there. They were real, hard-working, colorful people. I loved talking to everyone, they all had a story to tell.

I am not sure which is my favorite area on New Orleans. I love the Garden District, the French Quarter of course. The old Jazz Clubs away from the tourist area were great places to end the night.

New Orleans is not the most beautiful place in the world. It is pretty, not beautiful. The charm of New Orleans comes from the food, the music, the people and the complicated history.

We went back to New Orleans for a long weekend a couple of years ago. I felt exactly the same as I had on my first visit. You don’t ‘see’ New Orleans, you ‘feel’ it.

I was sad to see that many areas had never recovered from Katrina, and probably never would. It still had the same wonderful people, and the same wonderful atmosphere. The people of New Orleans re-built their lives and carried on. Their suffering made them stronger and I admire them.

I will go back again, and soon.